I’m really worried. With legalization of pot, will pilots be flying high?

– Mrs. Gary Weisman Baker.


Dearest Mrs. Fox News,

Are you stoned?!!!

Hopefully pilots aren’t flying low! Their zippers must be fully zipped if you get my drift. No funny business in the cockpit for your flights Mrs. GWB!

If you’re asking if pilots get stoned while flying, refer to your husband Gary’s letter response. According to this article, “there’s no “joint-to-joystick” rule” for the Transport Canada pilots. This quote alone is questionable and is yet another attempt at bad weed jokes.

One study from Down Under, did a particularly gruesome study. “Rats killed via rapid decapitation get their epididymal fat pads removed.” These scientists isolated fat from the ballsacks of decapitated rats, 2 or 7 days after THC injections! They set out to investigate whether stress increases THC and its metabolite levels after storage in fat cells. If that wasn’t gruesome enough, they finely chopped and digested the adipose tissue in a Krebs-Ringer and maintained the cells in a Petri dish. Crikey! I thought the sheep were the ones in danger.

The study also investigated the effects of food deprivation on THC and metabolite levels. Results from food-deprived, in vitro rat fat cells are difficult to translate to human studies. If your adoring dog locks you in an empty laundry room for a week, would you experience cannabis “flashbacks”? I should hope so! Or would you get all your knickers clean? Please don’t try eating Tide pods if you’re hungry. I speculate, pilots taking higher THC products would suffer the munchies and this blows the whole deprivation scenario.

The above study is from 2009 and is speculative. Like dogs attacking the last roast, researchers publish cannabinoid science papers daily. Sometimes up to four papers a day. By these standards, the study is old.

Luckily, some Norwegians decided to test 6 daily chronic users some of whom met criteria for cannabis use disorder. They smoked equivalents of 5–30 g of hashish per week per month and some took other substances. That’s a lot of hash Mrs GWB. Doesn’t sound like pilot types but indulge me. These poor souls ran the treadmill or were withheld food for 24 hrs. — No, Mrs. GWB, this isn’t Stephen King’s “Misery” but it could be. — Ward staff collected and froze the subjects’ urine along with serum samples. Hope the night staff didn’t eat the “lemon” popsicles.

The study concluded “To summarize, neither exercise at moderate intensity for 45 min nor 24-hr food deprivation causes significant elevations in blood or urine cannabinoid levels in our six human subjects.” They list many limitations with the study.

But get this Mrs. GWB, their staffing really suffers during the study: “Because of personnel changes, recruitment to the study had to be terminated earlier than intended”. Oh, that’s too bad. Maybe it was the popsicles. Why don’t you send them some Tupperware?

In one 1979 study they determine THC accumulates in fat pads of male ball tissue! Holy Gonads! This is one good argument to hire more female pilots! Absence of ball fat may equal less possibility of “cannabis flashbacks”! Yay gender equality!

Just yanking your pearls Mrs. GWB. Kick off your kitten heels and sing a bit, it raises your endocannabinoid levels of the bliss molecule. Super nerdy, but you can speak in tongues while you’re at it. But be careful, you might get pulled over for that.

So Mrs GWB, Air Canada is intolerant of cannabis consuming pilots. They ban employees from taking cannabis on or off duty.

Katrina Ingram, COO of Cannabis At Work, posits some fair questions, “I think it’s interesting that (they’re) treating these two substances a little bit differently, and it’s probably borne out of a position of not really understanding what the implications are going to be for cannabis use.”

True. THC plasma levels are not indicative of impairment level.

She then points out, “THC can stay in a consumer’s fatty tissue, and compounds over time and it’s possible that someone may test positive for THC but not actually be impaired.”

In conclusion Mrs GWB, don’t scare pilots with Tammy Bakker make-up when boarding the airplane. It won’t impair them from the scare, but it may delay the flight. Instead, toss them a Swanson’s for good measure.

Photo: Jon Flobrant

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